Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Duel of the Cameo Silhouette vs. the Brother Scan & Cut Part 1

The Duel of the Cameo Silhouette 
vs. the Brother Scan & Cut Part 1

This duel came about because I purchased a Brother Scan and Cut along with several friends from our local dealer...and then attempted to use the Brother Scan and Cut Canvas (a cloud based software that allows you to import your SVG files and convert them to FCM which is what the Brother reads).

If you own the Brother Scan and Cut and have not played with the software here is a link to the site, you will need a broadband internet connection as you don't download the use it online.

If you own the Silhouette Cameo machine then you most likely have the Studio Software which is similar to the Canvas but in my opinion a tad more powerful. The education dept. at Brother has received many calls from consumers and educators saying they would like for the Canvas software to do a better job of converting SVG graphic to the language the BSC reads.  To be fair it does convert them, they just don't have a special box to input the size you would like the file to be, that means you have to click and drag to the size you want.  For those of you who have used the Studio software you know that you can just input the size you want and it is very exact.

For those of you that read this far and have no idea what I am talking about let me clear it up.  Both of these machines are 'plotters'.  They cut fabric, vinyl, paper and other media with the use of Scale-able Vector Graphic or SVG's.  You may have recently noticed than many of your favorite embroidery websites are offering SVG's to go with their files.  These files allow the users to cut outdoor or indoor vinyl for banners, cars, flags-these files can also be used to make heat transfer vinyl for t-shirts and most importantly (in my opinion) they can be used to cut all of your applique pieces, meaning you don't have to cut your machine embroidered applique pieces anymore!!!!

But you will need one or the other to accomplish the mentioned tasks.  We are going to look at the following things that we think make a great 'cutter'.

1. Ease of Use
2. Ability to Cut a Variety of Materials
3. Available Support
4. Product Requirements
5. Alternate Software Connectivity
6. Brand Matched to Consumer

Let's begin with ease of use...both machines are fairly straightforward with one big difference...the Brother Scan and Cut can just be plugged in and the touch screen accessed to choose a built in design.  The Silhouette Cameo does require you to load the Studio Software and plug the machine into your computer...this machine cannot be used without a computer and the software.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just something to be mindful. For the sake of this demo I will be demonstrating how to pre-cut applique pieces to use at the embroidery machine (paper or other items could be cut as well and would not require the step of converting the placement stitch to an SVG for the machines.

At the Cameo Studio Screen I have inserted the SVG graphic that I want to convert to a cut file
At the Brother Canvas Cloud software I have inserted the graphic that I want to convert to an SVG

As you can see they both work similarly, although I do like the fact that at the Cameo Studio I can just insert the size I want, at this time the Brother Software does not have this feature and you have to drag design to the size you would like to cut it.

Nicci Brazzell
MaEd, M.F.A